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Parliamentary questions
8 April 2013
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 117
Jean-Luc Bennahmias (ALDE)

 Subject:  Collagen removed from persons sentenced to death

On 13 September 2005, the English daily newspaper The Guardian published an alarming investigation into the cosmetics industry which revealed that a Chinese company was taking collagen from persons who had been sentenced to death and executed and from foetuses in order to manufacture beauty products sold in Great Britain and probably in the rest of the Union. The British authorities expressed their concern about this article, which has been regularly syndicated in the press since, and their intention to refer the question to the European Commission. An oral question asked on 27 October 2005 (H-0772/2005) called on the Commission to propose regulations that would provide a framework for cosmetic treatments in order to prevent such abuse. In its reply, the Commission confirmed that it intended to address this question and that the marketing of human collagen was not bereft of all legal framework, because it came under Directive 2004/23/EC on tissues and cells, which prohibited their use for the preparation of cosmetic products.

Finally, the Commission emphasised that it was up to the Member States to ensure:
that human tissues and cells from third countries were imported by tissue establishments accredited for that purpose;
that these products complied with quality and security standards equivalent to those laid down in the directive and
that the human tissues or cells obtained satisfied consent or authorisation requirements in force in the Member State concerned.
1. Has the Commission addressed this question in greater depth since 2005? If so, what conclusions has it drawn?
2. Does the Commission intend to explicitly prohibit the marketing of human collagen used for the preparation of cosmetic products?
3. Why, having reiterated the ban in principle on such marketing, did the Commission reiterate the marketing conditions for human tissue and cells (accreditation, security and donor consent) and affirm that it was up to the Member States to assume their responsibilities in the matter?
Original language of question: FROJ C 20 E, 23/01/2014
Last updated: 24 April 2013Legal notice